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Book to highlight beauty of Victoria Memorial garden

Book to highlight beauty of Victoria Memorial garden
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Kolkata: To shatter the common belief that the sprawling garden of Victoria Memorial is not merely a hangout spot, the memorial perhaps for the first time in its history is bringing out a publication with a compilation of the flora and fauna that beautify its 64-acre garden.

The book will also highlight the method adopted for maintenance of the garden and the water body on the memorial campus.

"We want to project the Victoria Memorial highlighting the inclusivity we nurture. We had written to the West Bengal Biodiversity Board to undertake a study of the animals, birds, reptiles and the fishes present in the garden and the water body in the memorial. They have consented and soon a joint meeting will be held to finalise the matter," said Jayanta Sengupta, curator and secretary of Victoria Memorial.

If everything goes according to the plan , the publication will be released by January 2020.

In recent times, the authorities had captured a variety of Indian birds that may go up to 100, more than a score of migratory ones, at least 50 varieties of butterflies, scores of caterpillars , 40 odd species of buzzing bees , varieties of snakes and several other insects and small animals in the garden.

The Botanical Survey of India has conducted a census of the trees and the memorial authorities have urged them to come up with small text capsules with description of some prominent trees in the garden.

There are more than 2,800 tress and the varieties are over 500. A large number of these tress are rare. The Calabash tree, native to Central and South America and the national tree of St. Lucia was brought in and neutralised here by the British. The Cuban Royal Palm, the Canon Ball tree from the Amazon rainforest and the breadfruit tree from the Pacific come under this category.

Talking about the maintenance of the garden Sengupta said the they have procured a composting machine where waste matter is recycled

and used as manure for the garden.

The falling leaves of the trees and the food waste from the canteen are converted to manure and used for the upkeep of the garden.

"People will be amazed to know that when the memorial was established in the year 1921 there was no grass on the campus. It needed a lot of effort to make such an attractive garden," he added.

Out of 38 lakh annual visitors at the Victoria Memorial, 18 lakh avail tickets for the

garden.

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